Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is the most important to homebuyers. Because of this, a pleasant presentation is of utmost importance. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves preparing a meal, and be assured that they will have plenty of storage room in their new home. Below you'll find the information you need to learn how to declutter the kitchen to show off counter space and maximize its size.
The kitchen - A clutter magnet
Once you step back and look at your kitchen from the eyes of a potential buyer, you will probably see why you need to declutter it. The kitchen is an absolute clutter magnet! There are pots, pans, and mixed-matched lids tossed inside cabinetry. Bills, schoolwork, and take-out menus litter countertops. And, of course, drawers are a confusing jumble of flatware, cooking utensils, and storage containers. Yikes! Buyers will not only find the clutter distracting, but it will give the impression that there isn't enough room to keep things neat and tidy, too.
Where to start
The most important thing to remember when it comes to decluttering the kitchen for staging purposes is this: You aren't simply trying to organize what you have. Instead, you need to physically remove unnecessary excess out the kitchen, even if that means temporarily living without some of your belongings for a short period of time. Go through your things and pack away what you don't use frequently. Seasonal dishes and serving trays, rarely used kitchen gadgets, collectible plates, and any other non-essential objects can be put into storage until your home sells. It will be worth the sacrifice!
How to declutter the kitchen
The refrigerator - Remove magnets, children's artwork, schoolwork, work schedules, and everything else from the front and sides of the refrigerator. If it will be left behind with the house, be sure to give the inside of the frig a thorough cleaning, as people will be peeking inside of it.
Countertops - Even if you are short on countertop space, you don't want to reveal it to potential homebuyers. Remove everything, including the toaster, blender, coffee maker, and other small appliances so that buyers aren't distracted by all your clutter and can concentrate, instead, on what the space has to offer.
Inside the cabinets - Block off a weekend and give the inside of your cabinets a thorough cleaning. Remove everything, wipe out food debris and spills, and replace things in a neat and organized fashion. Buyers will be opening up all the cupboards to ensure that there's adequate storage space, so put away anything you don't want people to see.
Drawers - Take a trip to your local dollar store and invest in a few inexpensive drawer organizers. It's worth spending a few bucks to stage the kitchen in an attractive way.
Rugs - In an effort to conceal stains and other flooring damage, many homeowners place a series of rugs around the kitchen floor. These rugs cut the room apart and make it appear very unattractive. Even if it exposes an imperfection, it's better to use one decorative rug or mat for a cohesive look.
The trash can - Everyone has a trash can in their kitchen, but it doesn't mean we want to see or smell it. Cover the can with a lid, store it in a hall closet or under the sink, and make sure it is emptied daily.
Recycling - If you have recycle bins in the kitchen, consider moving them into the garage, basement, or in a low-traffic zone of the house. Too many bins and containers will take up floor space and make the kitchen look crowded.
Windows - When windows are cluttered with blinds, curtains, valances, and so on, a kitchen can appear dark and closed in. Brighten up the room by removing any heavy blinds or window treatments and let buyers enjoy the view, and the light, instead.
Potted plants and herb gardens - It's absolutely fine to have two or three healthy plants in the kitchen, but dying, wilted, or dead plants need to be removed immediately. If you have an extensive collection of greenery, it's best to find them a temporary home until your house sells. The house should be what buyers notice, not the plants.
Once you're finished decluttering and staging the kitchen, you can begin showing your house. With things neat and in their place, buyers will be able to focus on room size, available storage, and the entertaining space your kitchen has to offer. Good luck!
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Source: Personal knowledge